Tia Carrere

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Tia Carrere
Tia Carrere 2009.jpg
Carrere at the 8th Annual "Fashion For The Cure" event in September 2009
Althea Rae Duhinio Janairo

(1967-01-02) January 2, 1967 (age 56)
  • Actress
  • model
  • singer
Years active1984–present
  • (m. 1992; div. 2000)
  • (m. 2002; div. 2010)
Musical career
Years active1992–present
LabelsDaniel Ho Creations
Websitewww.tiacarrere.com Edit this at Wikidata

Althea Rae Duhinio Janairo[1] (born January 2, 1967),[2] known professionally as Tia Carrere (/kəˈrɛərə/), is an American actress, singer and former model who got her first big break as a regular on the daytime soap opera General Hospital.

Carrere played Cassandra Wong in the feature films Wayne's World and Wayne's World 2; Juno Skinner in True Lies; Nani Pelekai in the Lilo & Stitch films and TV series; Queen Tyr'ahnee in Duck Dodgers; Richard Lewis's girlfriend, Cha Cha, in Curb Your Enthusiasm; and starred as Sydney Fox in the television series Relic Hunter, as well as Lady Danger opposite RuPaul in Netflix's AJ and the Queen. Carrere also appeared as a contestant in the second season of Dancing with the Stars and the fifth season of The Celebrity Apprentice. In addition to acting, Carrere has won two Grammy Awards for her music.

Early life[edit]

Carrere was born in Honolulu, Hawaii.[1] She is the daughter of Audrey Lee Janairo, a computer supervisor, and Alexander Janairo, a banker.[1][3] She is of Filipino and Chinese descent.[4]

Carrere attended Sacred Hearts Academy, an all-girls school. She longed to be a singer as a child.[5] Though she was eliminated during the first round of her 1985 Star Search appearance at the age of 18, she was spotted by a local producer while shopping at a Waikiki grocery store and was cast in the movie Aloha Summer.[6] At around this time, she adopted her stage name by using her sister's nickname for her, "Tia" and using a variation of the last name "Carrera" in tribute to actress Barbara Carrera.[7]

Film and television career[edit]

Following this success, Carrere returned to Los Angeles, and after working several months as a model, landed her first role in the American television series Airwolf in early 1985. Her first major breakthrough was in the daytime soap opera General Hospital. She played the role of Jade Soong Chung from 1985 to 1987. She also had a guest appearance on Tour of Duty and The A-Team, which was supposed to lead to her joining the cast; her General Hospital obligations, however, prevented her from joining the team. Her character was dropped after one episode, and was never mentioned again. She also made guest appearances on MacGyver as a karate instructor in the episode "The Wish Child" and later as an assassin in the episode "Murderer's Sky". She also appeared on Anything but Love as the adopted daughter of Marty Gold (Richard Lewis), and on an episode of Married... with Children as Piper Bauman, a modelling rival of Kelly Bundy.

After appearing in the 1991 action films Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man and Showdown in Little Tokyo, she emerged into the public spotlight when cast as Cassandra, a rock singer and love interest of Mike Myers's character, Wayne Campbell, in Wayne's World (1992), a role she reprised the next year in Wayne's World 2. A trained singer, Carrere performed all of her own songs in the first film, and the Wayne's World soundtrack features her vocals. She turned down a role in Baywatch to audition for Wayne's World. In 1992, People named her to its annual "50 most beautiful people" list.

Other roles in prominent films include the parts of wealthy smuggler Juno Skinner in True Lies, a 1994 Arnold Schwarzenegger action film; a mixed African-Japanese computer expert in Rising Sun, a thriller co-written for the screen by Michael Crichton and based on his novel, starring Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes; robber Gina Walker in The Immortals in 1995; and secretary Victoria Chappell in High School High, a 1996 parody. She also starred as Ari, a space marine turned pirate, in the 1995 adventure/puzzle game The Daedalus Encounter. She also starred as the evil witch/queen in the 1997 Universal Films picture Kull the Conqueror, co-starring versus Kevin Sorbo, and starred in late-'90s M&M's commercials as herself. At the end of the decade, she was cast as Ana Ishikawa in the motion picture of the comic book character Shi, but the film wasn't concreted.[8]

Carrere at the premiere for Up in May 2009

From 1999 to 2002, Carrere starred as archeology professor Sydney Fox in Relic Hunter, a syndicated action-adventure series strongly reminiscent of the Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider films and video games. At this time, Carrere was featured in the men's magazine Maxim. Relic Hunter lasted for a total of three contracted television seasons. Carrere then provided the voice of Lilo's sister Nani in the animated film Lilo & Stitch (2002) and its spinoffs, as well as the voice of Queen Tyr'ahnee from the 2003 Duck Dodgers animated series. She also provided the voice of Snookie in the 2005 animated film Aloha, Scooby-Doo![9]

She participated as a contestant on the popular reality show Dancing with the Stars, and eventually placed sixth overall. Carrere later participated in the fifth season of The Celebrity Apprentice, but her "apprenticeship" to Donald Trump, the "boss" of the show, was terminated in that season's fifth week.

Carrere posed nude for the January 2003 issue of Playboy. The photos were republished in the German December 2006 issue of the magazine. She has appeared as a guest star on a number of television shows, including Back to You, Nip/Tuck, and Warehouse 13. She has also appeared in several episodes of season six of Curb Your Enthusiasm as Richard Lewis's girlfriend. In 2020, Carrere played Lady Danger in all ten episodes of the Netflix series AJ and the Queen.[10]

Music career[edit]

Carrere at the Filipino American Library Spirit Awards

Carrere also maintains a singing career. In 1993, her first solo album, Dream, produced by Matt Prinz, was released and went platinum in the Philippines. That same year, she was featured on the soundtrack of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, performing the ending theme, "I Never Even Told You". Carrere then focused on Hawaiian music starting with her second album, Hawaiiana, which was released in June 2007 and featured Grammy Award-winning record producer Daniel Ho accompanying her on slack-key guitar and ukulele. The album was nominated for a 2008 Grammy Award under the category Best Hawaiian Music Album.[11]

In 2009, Carrere served as co-host for the pre-Grammy Awards telecast online event alongside Wayne Brady.[12] She won a Grammy Award in 2009 for her third album 'Ikena, and her 2010 album He Nani was also nominated for a Grammy. In 2011, she won her second Grammy Award for her album Huana Ke Aloha.

Personal life[edit]

Carrere married film producer Elie Samaha in 1992.[6] Samaha and Carrere divorced in February 2000.[13] On November 30, 2002, she married photojournalist Simon Wakelin. They have a daughter, Bianca. On April 2, 2010, Carrere filed for divorce in person at Los Angeles County Superior Court. According to court documents she cited irreconcilable differences as the reason for the divorce and asked for sole physical custody of their daughter.[14] Their divorce was finalized in August 2010, with the two of them reportedly sharing custody of their daughter.[15] She lives in Los Angeles.



Year Title Role Notes
1987 Zombie Nightmare Amy
1988 Aloha Summer Lani Acting debut[Note 1]
1989 Fine Gold Stella
1990 Enemy Mai Chang Direct-to-video
1991 Showdown in Little Tokyo Minako Okeya
1991 Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man Kimiko
1992 Wayne's World Cassandra Wong
1992 Little Sister Adrienne
1993 Rising Sun Jingo Asakuma
1993 Quick Janet Sakamoto Direct-to-video
1993 Treacherous Dr. Jessica Jamison Direct-to-video
1993 Wayne's World 2 Cassandra Wong
1994 True Lies Juno Skinner
1995 Jury Duty Monica Lewis
1995 The Immortals Gina Walker Direct-to-video also Associate Producer
1995 Hostile Intentions Nora Direct-to-video
1996 Hollow Point Diane Norwood
1996 High School High Victoria Chapell
1996 Natural Enemy Christina Direct-to-video
1997 Kull the Conqueror Akivasha
1997 Top of the World Rebecca Mercer
1998 Scar City Candy
1998 20 Dates Herself (uncredited) Executive Producer
1999 My Teacher's Wife Vicky Mueller
1999 Five Aces Karen Haggerty Direct-to-video
1999 If...Dog...Rabbit Direct-to-video, Co-Executive Producer
2000 Merlin: The Return Dr. Joan Maxwell
2002 Lilo & Stitch Nani Pelekai (voice role)
2002 Meet Prince Charming Samantha Feld
2003 Stitch! The Movie Nani Pelekai (voice role) Direct-to-video
2005 Aloha, Scooby-Doo! Snookie (voice role) Direct-to-video
2005 Back in the Day Loot Direct-to-video
2005 Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch Nani Pelekai (voice role) Direct-to-video
2006 Leroy & Stitch Nani Pelekai (voice role) Direct-to-video
2008 Dark Honeymoon Miranda Direct-to-video
2009 Wild Cherry Ms. Jane Haumea
2010 Hard Breakers Jodie
2011 You May Not Kiss the Bride Lani
2012 Collision Course Kate Parks
2013 Final Recourse Michelle Gaines also Associate Producer
2014 Gunshot Straight Leanne Direct-to-video
2015 Pirates Code: The Adventures of Mickey Matson Kelly
2015 Behind Palm Swings Cherry Bomb Short film
2015 Tom and Jerry: Spy Quest Jezebel Jade (voice role) Direct-to-video
2016 Business Unusual Ella Short film
2016 Showdown in Manila Mrs. Catherine Wells
2016 The Girl Mother
2017 Palm Swings Ms. Cherry Bomb
2018 The Legend of Hallowaiian Nana (voice role) Direct-to-video
TBR Felo de se Kirsty
2022 Easter Sunday Tita Theresa
TBA Lilo & Stitch Mrs. Kekoa Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1985 Cover Up Philippines Contestant Episode: "Who's Trying to Kill Miss Globe?"
1985 Covenant Girl at Golden Calf Television movie
1985 Airwolf Kiki Tinabi television debut
Episode: "Annie Oakley"
1985–1986 General Hospital Jade Soong recurring role; 16 episodes
1986 The A-Team Tia Episode: "The Sound of Thunder"
1986 MacGyver Lisa Chan Episode: "The Wish Child"
1987–1988 The New Hollywood Squares Herself (Panelist) 4 episodes
1987 Tour of Duty Lang Episode: "Dislocations"
1988 Noble House Venus Poon Television Miniseries; 4 episodes
1988 MacGyver Tiu Episode: "Murderer's Sky"
1989 The Road Raiders Cyanne Television movie
1989 Anything But Love Cey Episode: "Those Lips, Those Thais"
1990 Friday the 13th: The Series Michiko Tanaka Episode: "Year of the Monkey"
1990 Quantum Leap Chu-Hoi Episode: "The Leap Home: Part 2 (Vietnam)"
1990 Married...with Children Piper Bauman Episode: "Kelly Bounces Back"
1991 Intimate Stranger Mina Television movie
1992 Tales from the Crypt Scarlett Episode: "On a Deadman's Chest"
1995 Nothing But the Truth Simone Gideon Television movie
1995–1996 Murder One Beverly Nichols recurring role; 3 episodes
1996 Desert Breeze unknown role Television movie
1997 Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child Mija (voice role) Episode: "The Little Mermaid"
1998 Dogboys District Attorney Jennifer Dern Television movie
1998 Veronica's Closet Kim Episode: "Veronica's on the Herb"
1998 Hercules Marigold (voice role) Episode: "Hercules and the Golden Touch"
1999 The Night of the Headless Horseman Katrina Van Tassel (voice role) Television movie
1999–2002 Relic Hunter Sydney Fox Protagonist; 66 episodes
2000–2001 Hollywood Squares Herself (Panelist) 15 episodes
2001 The Test Herself (Panelist) Episode: "The Libido Test"
2003–2005 Duck Dodgers Queen Tyr'ahnee - The Martian Queen (voice role) series regular; 20 episodes
2003–2006 Lilo & Stitch: The Series Nani Pelekai (voice role) series regular; 18 episodes
2004 Johnny Bravo Herself/additional voices (voice role) recurring role; 4 episodes
2004 Megas XLR Darklos (voice role) Episode: "DMV: Department of Megas Violations"
2004 Torn Apart Vicki Westin Television movie
2005 Supernova Lisa Delgado Television movie
2005 American Dragon: Jake Long Yan Yan (voice role) Episode: "Fu and Tell"
2006 The O.C. Dean Torres Episode: "The Gringos"
2006 Dancing with the Stars Herself (contestant) 8 episodes
2007 Back to You Maggie Episode: "A Night of Possibilities"
2007 Nip/Tuck Mistress Dark Pain Episode: "Carly Summers"
2007 Curb Your Enthusiasm Cha Cha recurring role; 3 episodes
2008 Untitled Liz Meriwether Project Paula Poland Television movie
2009 CSI: Miami Jacqueline Parsons Episode: "Bolt Action"
2010 Warehouse 13 Agent Katie Logan 2 episodes
2010 Iron Chef America: The Series Herself (Guest Judge) Episode: "Michael Symons vs. Makoto Okuwa: Uni"
2011 True Justice Lisa Clayton 2 episodes
2011 Combat Hospital Jessica Draycott Episode: "It's My Party"
2011-2013 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated Amy Cavenaugh/Judy Reeves (voice role) series regular; 14 episodes
2012 In Plain Sight Lia Hernandez recurring role; 4 episodes
2012 The Apprentice Herself (Contestant) 14 episodes
2013 The Birthday Boys Herself Episode: "Cool Machine"
2014 Asteroid vs Earth Marissa Knox Television movie
2014 Uncle Grandpa Island Girl (voice role) Episode: "Vacation"
2015 Hawaii Five-0 Makana Kalakauna 2 episodes
2016 Family Guy Hawaiian Woman (voice role) Episode: "An App a Day"
2017 Mickey and the Roadster Racers Auntie Olina (voice role) 3 episodes
2017 Blue Bloods Chow Lin Episode: "The Enemy Of My Enemy"
2018 Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters Officer Santos/Mechanica (voice role) 3 episodes
2019 Dollface Teresa Episode: "Fun Friend"
2020 AJ and the Queen Lady Danger Series Regular
2020 The Eric Andre Show Herself
2022 A Big Fat Family Christmas Ivy Television film
2023 NCIS: Los Angeles Layla Lewis Season 14 Episode 18: "Sensu Lato"

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1995 The Daedalus Encounter Ari Matheson
2006 Saints Row Lin (voice role)
2013 Saints Row IV Lin (voice role) Cut content


Studio albums[edit]

  • Dream (1993)
  • Hawaiiana (2007)[16]
  • 'Ikena (with Daniel Ho, 2008)[17]
  • He Nani (with Daniel Ho, 2009)[18]
  • Huana Ke Aloha (2010)[19]


Wayne's World: Music from the Motion Picture (1992)

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm The Animated Movie Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1993)

Dancing with the Stars[edit]

Season 2 performances[edit]

Week # Dance / Song Judges' scores Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Waltz / "What a Wonderful World" 6 7 7 Bottom two
2 Rumba / "Emotion" 7 8 7 Safe
3 Tango / "Por una Cabeza" 9 8 9 Safe
4 Foxtrot / "Dream a Little Dream of Me" 9 8 8 Bottom two
5 Samba / "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)" 7 7 8 Eliminated
Group Salsa / "Rhythm is Gonna Get You" No scores given

Awards and nominations[edit]

The following is a list of awards and nominations received by Carrere

Year Title Accolade Category Result Ref
1992 Wayne's World MTV Movie + TV Award Most Desirable Female Nominated [20][unreliable source?]
1994 ShoWest Convention Award Female Star of Tomorrow Won
1995 True Lies MTV Movie + TV Award Best Dance Sequence (shared with Arnold Schwarzenegger) Nominated
1995 True Lies Saturn Award Best Supporting Actress Nominated
2001 Relic Hunter ALMA Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Syndicated Drama Series Nominated
2006 Back in the Day DVD Exclusive Award Best Supporting Actress in a DVD Premiere Movie Nominated
2007 Hawaiiana Grammy Award Best Hawaiian Music Album Nominated
2008 Ikena Grammy Award Best Hawaiian Music Album Won
2009 He Nani Grammy Award Best Hawaiian Music Album Nominated
2010 Huana Ke Aloha Grammy Award Best Hawaiian Music Album Won


  1. ^ Aloha Summer was filmed in 1984.


  1. ^ a b c "Tia Carrere". TVGuide.com. Archived from the original on May 6, 2015. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
  2. ^ "UPI Almanac for Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019". United Press International. January 2, 2019. Archived from the original on September 2, 2019. Retrieved September 2, 2019. actor Tia Carrere in 1967 (age 52)
  3. ^ "Tia Carrere Biography (1965—)". Film Reference.
  4. ^ Vancheri, Barbara (August 6, 1993). "From 'Wayne's World' to 'Sun'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pennsylvania. Retrieved October 4, 2017 – via The Hutchinson News.
  5. ^ Beruschy, Brian (May 20, 2007). "Introducing Tia Carrere: Hawaiian Songstress and Fan of B on Hawaii". B on Hawaii. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  6. ^ a b Brady, James (June 4, 1995). "In Step with Tia Carrere". Parade. Toledo Blade. p. 26. Retrieved August 20, 2010.
  7. ^ "What Happened to 'Wayne's World' Star Tia Carrere?".
  8. ^ "TMe: SHI movie set for Spring 2000 release". Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  9. ^ Mattern, Joanne (August 15, 2010). Hawaii: Past and Present. The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 32. ISBN 978-1-4358-9479-2. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  10. ^ "Tia Carrere Says New Villainous Role On 'AJ & The Queen' Is A Part She's Always Wanted To Play". www.msn.com. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  11. ^ Spencer, Ashley. "What Happened to 'Wayne's World' Star Tia Carrere?". Retrieved March 5, 2020.
  12. ^ "Tia Carrere – Grammy Fascinating Fact: – Contactmusic News". www.contactmusic.com. February 8, 2009. Retrieved October 10, 2010.
  13. ^ "Tia Carrere Gives Birth to Baby Girl". PEOPLE.com. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  14. ^ "Tia Carrere Files For Divorce". TMZ.com. Retrieved April 2, 2010.
  15. ^ "'Wayne's' star finalizes divorce". Toronto Sun. August 19, 2010. Retrieved August 20, 2010.
  16. ^ "hawaiiana". Tia Carrere. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  17. ^ "'ikena". Tia Carrere. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  18. ^ "He Nani". Tia Carrere. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  19. ^ "Huana Ke Aloha". Tia Carrere. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  20. ^ "Tia Carrere". IMDb. Retrieved August 26, 2018.

External links[edit]